Well fancy that! Old punk flyers.

I was looking in the garage for the computer monitor that was, in fact, right behind me. Larger versions available at flickr for those who want to read the little print with the names of all the crazy record stores, etc.

And while in the garage I opened up a box of crap from the summer between my freshman and sophomore years at UCLA, when I worked at Radio Shack and went to punk shows. And whee! Three flyers from then.

Flyer: 45 Grave at Fender's, 1984

Flyer: The Cult, The Meteors at Perkins Palace 1984

Flyer: Dead Kennedys 1984 at Olympic Auditorium

Open Letter: Punk Rock

I got a myspace friend request from a band called “Hey Stroker” ( http://www.myspace.com/heystrokeroc ). Here’s what they have to say about themselves:

Hey everyone you probably haven’t heard of us yet but we’re Hey Stroker a melodic, punk-rock from Mission Viejo, CA in Orange County. Some people say we’re sort of like the Beach Boys playing intriguing pop-punk. We combine screaming guitar leads with punchy bass lines, pounding drum beats, and the well-crafted lyrical and vocal arrangements. Everyone says we sound like Blink 182 but, we don’t. We have a high-octane, radio-friendly sound that’s all our own so whoever says we are a Blink 182 rip-off, FUCK YOU! Activities we enjoy include partying, drinking beer, and surfing thats why most of our music is about chiks, beer, surfing, ex-girlfriends(aka hos), or various parts of the human body mainly pussy, tits, and ass.

Okay. Guys? Punk rock may or may not be melodic, but it’s not radio-friendly, nor is it about “chiks, beer, surfing…” etc. Punk rock lyrics are sometimes about beer and sex, or surfing, but that’s not the point. Punk rock is liberation. When I say “liberation,” I mean liberation from stupid money-grubbing capitalism, consumer culture, war, educational credentialism, smooth nice music, bourgeois sensibilities, bigotry, oppressive politics, official anything, corporate media, TV, suburban self-satisfied smugness, and unthinking racial and gender assumptions. Punk rock is D.I.Y. instead of buying or copying shit. Punk Rock is about being polite to the cop and flipping off the mayor, because the mayor is the problem and the cop is just a worker. Punk rock is about communicating everything above with hard, rough, unrefined and uneducated noise and having a fucking great time doing it and sharing it with everyone else.

In sum, punk rock is about liberation from you. Dump your privilege and your expensive guitars, stop imitating, and start over. You’re still young and you have a chance at the real thing.

Punk rock saved my life. Don’t shit all over it for five bucks when you don’t even know what it is.